Skip to content ↓

View entry

Back to search results

Name: SHAW, St. John Havergal

Nee: son of Rev. William Henry Shaw

Birth Date: 24 Dec 1903 Stapleton, Bristol

Death Date: 1986 Christchurch, Hants

First Date: 1923

Profession: 'Memories of Kenya' - account of farming in the early days on the family farm 'Lamuria' was written by St. John Shaw

Area: Athi River, 'Lamuria', 1959 Jibale Farm Kitale

Married: 1. In Nyeri 29 June 1935 Mary Alice Roe b. 1903 (dau of Arthur Henry Roe) (later Mrs Norman); 2. Enid

Children: Daniel Havergal (1938-11.7.2015 Kenya); Giles Eric (1936-21.2.2015 Queensland); Thomas Howard (1942)

Author: Memories of Kenya

Book Reference: Red 31, Women 3/87, Hut, Curtis, Baptism, Wed

General Information:

Curtis - p. 60 - 'Lamuria' by St. John Shaw - 'Early in 1920 Gladys, Brian, Blair and Ridley Shaw, together with Walter Matthias, arrived in Kenya to start farming under the Soldier Settlement scheme. Their land was 25 miles north north-west of Nyeri. In describing the land which Shaw Bros. and Matthias (SBM) were taking over as 'farm land' the authorities had been somewhat misleading. In fact it turned out to be only 'empty' land of approx. 4000 acres ....... the partners were often low in the water financially. .....…..
Two of the younger partners, aided by a Kavirondo driver and his mate, made their way to Nyeri, a 100 miles to the north, and then on to the farm the further 25 miles. Gladys and Walter Matthias had meanwhile married and came on by car at the end of their honeymoon, taking 2 days to do the trip. ....... A few hundred Merino ewes were also bought from a local farmer, as well as several pedigree Merino rams from Australia. (Walter was particularly anxious to build up a first rate flock of these sheep, as they were the sort he had known in Queensland). By the end of 3 years Lamuria had become well established and was slowly beginning to show a profit.
In 1923 St. John, the youngest member of the family, joined the partnership, bringing some more capital for the farm ....... [production of butter for Nairobi - depression] ..... For SBM however, it was not all gloom. During a short holiday Gladys Matthias had spent a week at Reading University Dairy School learning something of the craft of making processed cheese. Back at Lamuria she rigged up a Heath Robinson type of apparatus which actually produced a very acceptable article. It was this machine that was in use turning out many thousand of packets of Lamuria Crustless Cheese. SBM survived the depression and thanks to Gladys's enterprise managed to repay their many outstanding commitments. In 1935 Walter Matthias died and was buried on the farm. He had been unwell and in great pain for many months. During WW2 Ridley Shaw carried on by himself and also looked after a number of other farms in the district. In 1947 Lamuria was sold and the partners received back their original cpital several times over.
John Edwards in Kitale School Newsletter Mid-Year 2021: Giles' father was a religious and strict man who gave his three sons some quite hard times. Dan was a pretty rough diamond, as was Giles, but Thomas the youngest was more quiet and sedate. Giles and Virginia with their two children, Piers and Brenda, came to settle in Australia in about 1971.

Back to search results